Volatility Information Trading in the Option Market
36 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2005
Date Written: September 20, 2005
This paper investigates informed trading on stock volatility in the option market. Using a unique data set from the Chicago Board Options Exchange, we construct non-market maker net demand for stock volatility from the trading volume of individual equity options. We find that this volatility demand is informative about the future realized volatility of underlying stocks which suggests the presence of volatility information traders in the option market. We also examine asset pricing implications of volatility information trading by measuring Kyle's lambda: The impact on option prices for each unit increase in volatility demand. The price impact is positive which is consistent with the existence of informational asymmetry about stock volatility. More importantly, we link the time variation in the price impact to the time variation in the degree of informational asymmetry. In particular, the price impact increases by over 50 percent as informational asymmetry about stock volatility intensifies in the days leading up to earnings announcements and diminishes to its normal level soon after the volatility uncertainty is resolved.
Keywords: options, derivatives, information, volatility
JEL Classification: G10, G12, G13, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation